ISLAMABAD: The government is all set to reduce expenditures on foreign missions abroad by Rs 3 to Rs 3.5 billion per annum.
The decision to this effect was taken during the meeting of the Committee to Review the Performance of Pakistani Missions abroad here on Wednesday which met under the chairmanship of Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.
The Committee deliberated on the recommendations made by the Sub-Committee constituted for the purpose and headed by Special Assistant of Prime Minister Mr. Tariq Fatmi and assisted by Special Assistant to Prime Minister Khawaja Zaheer, Secretaries of Cabinet and Finance. The Sub-Committee was directed to consult those ministries whose officers were posted in various Pakistani Missions abroad before finalizing its recommendations.
It may be recalled that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had constituted a Special Committee under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar to review the performance of officers posted in Pakistani Missions abroad with a view to cut expenditures as part of the austerity drive of the present government without effecting the efficiency and national interest of Pakistan.
The Finance Minister in his remarks appreciated the work of the committee and recommendations made by it to right size Pakistani Missions. As a result of the recommendations of the committee it is estimated that the expenditure on foreign mission would be reduced by Rs.3-3.5 billion annually.
The Finance Minister said that the present government was pursuing a policy of austerity and had taken various measures including abolishing of secret funds of 34 departments as well as the discretionary funds of the Prime Minister and Federal Minister besides slashing in non-salary expenditure by 30% and rationalizing fees of government servants nominated on the Board of Directors of Public Sector Enterprises.
The Finance Minister also informed the members of the Committee that the government would soon start a process to streamline the expenditures made by various Divisions, attached departments, autonomies bodies etc. so that unnecessary non-development expenditures can be checked and saving thus made were utilized for the development of the country.
After in-depth deliberations on various options, the committee under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar approved the recommendations of the Sub-Committee with changes and expressed the hope that its implementation would be completed within 60 days from the date of approval by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The Committee also directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and concerned Ministries to submit the performance report of incumbent offices presently working on various positions in Pakistan Missions for consideration of the committee within the next 30 days.
The Finance Minister said that the Sub-Committee led by Senator Tariq Fatemi would be converted into an Implementation Committee which would over look the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee.